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Sacred Harp Australia

Shape Note Resources & Singings ~ All Welcome

7th annual Victorian All-Day Singing

Saturday 20 July 2019 (plus extras on Friday and Sunday)

We are so looking forward to having you join us for a day of song in Melbourne, Victoria! Singing Sacred Harp music all day long – what could be better? Dinner on the grounds!

All welcome!

Come for as long as you like, stay for as long as you can…

FRIDAY
Social gathering at Shawn & Natalie’s place, from 7pm. (61 Condell St Fitzroy)

SATURDAY
Singing from 9:30am (starting with a “singing school” workshop) until around 3:30pm. A “dinner on the ground” (shared lunch) will be provided by the regular local singers.

Social gathering in a pub nearby (address TBC) from late afternoon through dinner.

SUNDAY
Bonus afternoon singing! We’ll confirm details with the group on Saturday, but most likely gathering for a shared lunch and singing until around 3:30 or 4:00.

Download the flier here.

Featured post

Brisbane Shapenote on ABC Radio

Brisbane Shapenote broadcast from ABC LOCAL (i.e., Brisbane) RADIO Sunday 19th November.

There’s a recording here on Facebook.

This was the group’s last singing for 2017.

Remembering Hugh McGraw (20.02.1931 – 28.05.2017)

“Perhaps the chief promoter and good will agent of Sacred Harp music.”
Buell Cobb.

Hugh McGraw started Sacred Harp singing in about 1953, when he developed an instant strong enthusiasm, and persuaded a second cousin (his “Uncle Bud” McGraw, a singing school teacher) to teach him about Sacred Harp music. McGraw then became a Sacred Harp composer, several of whose songs appear in the 1960 and subsequent editions of The Sacred Harp.

Continue reading “Remembering Hugh McGraw (20.02.1931 – 28.05.2017)”

What’s this all about?

Kevin Barrans, a singer from Washington State in the US, provides an excellent overview of Sacred Harp Singing in this video from Seattle’s Art Zone.

Brisbane 2017 Singings Kick Off

Brisbane will hold its first 2017 singing session

Sunday 26th February, 2-5 p.m.

Upstairs hall of West End Uniting Church, corner of Vulture and Sussex St.

Ascend the stairs wiinding up the church exterior from the Sussex St passage-way.

Then take a deep breath, sip some Justice Products tea or coffee and SING LOUDLY!

Welcome, one and all.

Quote Note

The rich multicultural history of Protestant music, which absorbed in the folk styles of each region that was converted, is reflected in the repertory of the Sacred Harpers. There is the influence of John Calvin and the 1539 Genevan Psaltery and of the brilliant Scots psalmodists later in the sixteenth century, where unison and heterophony were fostered; of the musical reformers of the Anglican service; of the radical Methodists, like John and Charles Wesley, who brought many British folk and popular tunes into the hymnals by setting religious words to them; and, all-pervasive, of the Baptists, who led the way in the popular religious revivals in Britain and America and thus introduced many folk tunes and much folksy singing into the church.

From White Spirituals from the Sacred Harp, by Alan Lomax

Quote note

“At a point, in the peaking rush of all that harmony, with so many bold, rushing voices around me, it seemed that not just we, but the song itself began to sing! It seemed to just catch fire and burn across us.” — Buell Cobb, Like Cords Around My Heart

The hollow square

The hollow square ready to welcome singers at the  Dickson Street Space. By Meg Quinlisk (Sydney Shapenote Singers).
The hollow square ready to welcome singers at the Dickson Street Space. By Meg Quinlisk (Sydney Shapenote Singers).

Quote note

“Nothing is weirder than Sacred Harp. Its favored subject matter–the pilgrim, the grave, Christ’s blood–is stark; its style–severe fourths and otherworldly open fifths–has been obsolete for more than a century. Its notation, in which triangles, circles and squares indicate pitch, looks like cuneiform. Yet it exudes power and integrity. Five people sound like a choir; a dozen like a hundred.” — David Van Biema, Give Me That Old-Time Singing, Time Magazine 2008

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